Lankford: Congress Should Disapprove D.C. Law That Would Force Christian Groups to Employ Abortion Advocates

By Lauretta Brown | February 11, 2015 | 11:28am EST

( – Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said that Congress should disapprove the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act, which was signed into law last month and that would force religious and pro-life organizations to employ people who advocate abortion.

On Capitol Hill, asked the senator, “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Congress to disapprove the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act because it would force religious and pro-life organizations to hire people who advocate abortion. Can the government force Christian organizations to hire people who advocate abortion?”

Senator Lankford said, “No, no it cannot.” then asked,  “So Congress should disapprove the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act?”

“Yes,” Lankford said.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act prevents employers from firing or hiring employees based on “reproductive health decisions,” which include “the use or intended use of contraception or fertility control or the planned or intended initiation or termination of a pregnancy.”

(Pregnant woman. (AP Photo)

The Act was signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the end of January despite “significant legal concerns” expressed by outgoing Mayor Vincent Gray in a December 2 letter to the D.C. Council urging members to delay their vote on the act until concerns were resolved, particularly the “serious concerns under the Constitution and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 14 other religious, pro-life organizations sent a Feb. 5 letter to Congress asking that it disapprove the Act during the 30-day Congressional Review Period required for the D.C. Law.

“The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 prevents religious institutions, other faith-based employers, and pro-life advocacy organizations from making employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs or their moral and ethical views about the sanctity of human life,” the organizations wrote.

"For example," they said, "the law requires our organizations to hire or retain individuals whose speech or public conduct contradicts the organizations' mission, and could be read to require our organizations to subsidize elective abortions through their employee health plans."

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